Tuesday, February 26, 2013

US tour I -- Las Vegas

T​here was no mistaking the city I had landed. As I exited the airplane and entered the brightly lit arrival lounge, around 8 pm yesterday, the unusual sight of rows of slot machines greeted me. It was much later that I saw the Welcome to Las Vegas board blinking high above my eye level. I was in the entertainment capital of the world on an official assignment.

The ubiquitous slot machines.
The place most tourists come to is not the city of Las Vegas, it's the 6.8-km-long Las Vegas Strip, where most hotels and entertainment centres are located. The Strip falls in two towns of Paradise and Winchester. I was in Caesars Palace hotel, one of the tallest and big ones in the area.

Late February, the weather was chilly. At night, the temperature dipped up to minus five, in day time in climbed to around 10 degree centigrade. Thanks to good sunshine, it wasn't biting cold. The city lights up in the night. It's an amazing experience to walk along The Strip and gaze at colourfully illuminated skyscrapers. Most people on the street are tourists.
Huge high-rise amusement and shopping centres 
There are plenty of shopping complexes and restaurants. There are many hotels as well, and you don't have to pay anything to get into them. You can just walk around inside, may be try your luck at the machines, or dine at the eateries, or empty your purse at the shops.

The Strip is all glitter at night
This is might be the only city where it's legal to walk around with liquor. So, no compulsion to sit in the bar and drink. The most acclaimed attractions are the fountains in front of Bellagio, the Sirens of TI at Treasure Island and the Volcano at the Mirage, all within a few minutes of each other. There are plenty more, big and small.

The Gondolas at The Venetian complex.
There are umpteen adult entertainment hubs as well, like nightclubs and nude strip clubs. In the so-called Sin City, prostitution, ironically, is illegal. That's in the city of Las Vegas which is in county Clarke. Didn't quite understand why in a place where there is so much freedom for indulgence, so much as to get the moniker Sin City, there is such a ban. But many other counties of Nevada state have legalized it.